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Kievit P.,Oregon Health And Science University | Halem H.,Biomeasure | Marks D.L.,Oregon Health And Science University | Dong J.Z.,Biomeasure | And 6 more authors.
Diabetes | Year: 2013

The melanocortin-4 receptor (MC4R) is well recognized as an important mediator of body weight homeostasis. Activation of MC4R causes dramatic weight loss in rodent models, and mutations in human are associated with obesity. This makes MC4R a logical target for pharmacological therapy for the treatment of obesity. However, previous studies in rodents and humans have observed a broad array of side effects caused by acute treatment with MC4R agonists, including increased heart rate and blood pressure. We demonstrate that treatment with a highly-selective novel MC4R agonist (BIM-22493 or RM-493) resulted in transient decreases in food intake (35%), with persistent weight loss over 8 weeks of treatment (13.5%) in a diet-induced obese nonhuman primate model. Consistent with weight loss, these animals significantly decreased adiposity and improved glucose tolerance. Importantly, we observed no increases in blood pressure or heart rate with BIM-22493 treatment. In contrast, treatment with LY2112688, an MC4R agonist previously shown to increase blood pressure and heart rate in humans, caused increases in blood pressure and heart rate, while modestly decreasing food intake. These studies demonstrate that distinct melanocortin peptide drugs can have widely different efficacies and side effects. © 2013 by the American Diabetes Association.


Sebokova E.,Hoffmann-La Roche | Christ A.D.,Hoffmann-La Roche | Wang H.,Hoffmann-La Roche | Sewing S.,Hoffmann-La Roche | And 4 more authors.
Endocrinology | Year: 2010

Taspoglutide is a novel analog of human glucagon-like peptide-1 [hGLP-1(7-36)NH2] in clinical development for the treatment of type 2 diabetes. Taspoglutide contains α-aminoisobutyric acid substitutions replacing Ala8 and Gly35 of hGLP-1(7-36)NH2. The binding affinity [radioligand binding assay using [125I]hGLP-1(7-36)NH2], potency (cAMP production in CHO cells stably over-expressing hGLP-1 receptor), and in vitro plasma stability of taspoglutide compared with hGLP-1(7-36)NH2 have been evaluated. Effects on basal and glucose-stimulated insulin secretion were determined in vitro in INS-1E cells and in vivo in normal rats. Taspoglutide has comparable affinity (affinity constant 1.1±0.2 nM) to the natural ligand (affinity constant 1.5±0.3 nM) for the hGLP-1 receptor and exhibits comparable potency in stimulating cAMP production (EC50 Taspo 0.06 nM and EC50 hGLP-1(7-36)NH20.08nM). Taspoglutide exerts insulinotropic action in vitroandin vivo and retains the glucoincretin property of hGLP-1(7-36)NH2. Stimulation of insulin secretion is concentration dependent and evident in the presence of high-glucose concentrations (16.7 mM) with a taspoglutide concentration as low as 0.001 nM. Taspoglutide is fully resistant to dipeptidyl peptidase-4 cleavage (during 1 h incubation at room temperature with purified enzyme) and has an extended in vitro plasma half-life relative to hGLP-1(7-36)NH2 (9.8 h vs. 50 min). In vitro, taspoglutide does not inhibit dipeptidyl peptidase-4 activity. This study provides the biochemical and pharmacological basis for the sustained plasma drug levels and prolonged therapeutic activity seen in early clinical trials of taspoglutide. Excellent stability and potency with substantial glucoincretin effects position taspoglutide as a promising new agent for treatment of type 2 diabetes. Copyright © 2010 by The Endocrine Society.


Papageorgis P.,Boston University | Lambert A.W.,Boston University | Ozturk S.,Boston University | Gao F.,Boston University | And 8 more authors.
Cancer Research | Year: 2010

Breast cancer progression is associated with aberrant DNA methylation and expression of genes that control the epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT), a critical step in malignant conversion. Although the genes affected have been studied, there is little understanding of how aberrant activation of the DNA methylation machinery itself occurs. Using a breast cancer cell-based model system, we found that cells that underwent EMT exhibited overactive transforming growth factor β (TGFβ) signaling and loss of expression of the CDH1, CGN, CLDN4, and KLK10 genes as a result of hypermethylation of their corresponding promoter regions. Based on these observations, we hypothesized that activated TGFβ-Smad signaling provides an "epigenetic memory" to maintain silencing of critical genes. In support of this hypothesis, disrupting Smad signaling in mesenchymal breast cancer cells resulted in DNA demethylation and reexpression of the genes identified. This epigenetic reversal was accompanied by an acquisition of epithelial morphology and a suppression of invasive properties. Notably, disrupting TGFβ signaling decreased the DNA binding activity of DNA methyltransferase DNMT1, suggesting that failure to maintain methylation of newly synthesized DNA was the likely cause of DNA demethylation. Together, our findings reveal a hyperactive TGFβ-TGFβR-Smad2 signaling axis needed to maintain epigenetic silencing of critical EMT genes and breast cancer progression. ©2010 AACR.


Gruszka A.,University of California at Los Angeles | Gruszka A.,Medical University of Lódz | Culler M.D.,Biomeasure | Melmed S.,University of California at Los Angeles
Molecular and Cellular Endocrinology | Year: 2012

We tested effects of selective somatostatin receptor 2 (SST2) agonist BIM-23120, SST5 agonist BIM-23206 and chimeric somatostatin-dopamine molecules (SRIF/DA) BIM-23A760 and BIM-23A761 on GH and PRL secretion and gene expression in human GH/PRL-secreting pituitary tumors in vitro. In "responders" group BIM-23120 suppressed GH levels by 26±4%, BIM-23206 by 31±5%, BIM-23A760 by 23±4%, BIM-23A761 by 39±8% and D2-dopamine agonist BIM-53097 by 31±5%. Using real-time PCR we demonstrated that GH inhibition was not accompanied by decreased GH mRNA levels. PRL secretion was inhibited by BIM-23A760 (29±5%), BIM-23A761 (34±4%), BIM-23206 (26±4%) and BIM-53097 (36±2%). SRIF/DA and BIM-53097 also suppressed PRL mRNA levels. Concluding, SST2 and SST5 agonists and SRIF/DA inhibit GH secretion, but do not suppress GH gene transcription. SRIF/DA and BIM-53097 inhibit both PRL secretion and PRL gene expression. SST5 agonist inhibits PRL secretion, but does not suppress PRL gene expression. D2 affinity is crucial in SRIF/DA action on PRL gene expression. © 2012 Elsevier Ireland Ltd.


Ganesh Kumar K.,Scripps Research Institute | Zhang J.,Louisiana State University | Gao S.,Scripps Research Institute | Rossi J.,Scripps Research Institute | And 5 more authors.
Obesity | Year: 2012

Adropin is a secreted peptide that improves hepatic steatosis and glucose homeostasis when administered to diet-induced obese mice. It is not clear if adropin is a peptide hormone regulated by signals of metabolic state. Moreover, the significance of a decline in adropin expression with obesity with respect to metabolic disease is also not clear. We investigated the regulation of serum adropin by metabolic status and diet. Serum adropin levels were high in chow-fed conditions and were suppressed by fasting and diet-induced obesity (DIO). High adropin levels were observed in mice fed a high-fat low carbohydrate diet, whereas lower levels were observed in mice fed a low-fat high carbohydrate diet. To investigate the role of adropin deficiency in metabolic homeostasis, we generated adropin knockout mice (AdrKO) on the C57BL/6J background. AdrKO displayed a 50%-increase in increase in adiposity, although food intake and energy expenditure were normal. AdrKO also exhibited dyslipidemia and impaired suppression of endogenous glucose production (EndoR a) in hyperinsulinemic- euglycemic clamp conditions, suggesting insulin resistance. While homo-and heterozygous carriers of the null adropin allele exhibited normal DIO relative to controls, impaired glucose tolerance associated with weight gain was more severe in both groups. In summary, adropin is a peptide hormone regulated by fasting and feeding. In fed conditions, adropin levels are regulated dietary macronutrients, and increase with dietary fat content. Adropin is not required for regulating food intake, however, its functions impact on adiposity and are involved in preventing insulin resistance, dyslipidemia, and impaired glucose tolerance. © 2011 The Obesity Society.


Meyer-Losic F.,Ipsen | Newman S.P.,Imperial College London | Day J.M.,Imperial College London | Reed M.J.,Imperial College London | And 3 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2013

Despite paclitxael's clinical success, treating hormone-refractory breast cancer remains challenging. Paclitaxel has a poor pharmacological profile, characterized by a low therapeutic index (TIX) caused by severe dose limiting toxicities, such as neutropenia and peripheral neuropathy. Consequently, new drugs are urgently required. STX140, a compound previously shown to have excellent efficacy against many tumors, is here compared to paclitaxel in three translational in vivo breast cancer models, a rat model of peripheral neuropathy, and through pharmacological testing. Three different in vivo mouse models of breast cancer were used; the metastatic 4T1 orthotopic model, the C3(1)/SV40 T-Ag model, and the MDA-MB-231 xenograft model. To determine TIX and pharmacological profile of STX140, a comprehensive dosing regime was performed in mice bearing MDA-MD-231 xenografts. Finally, peripheral neuropathy was examined using a rat plantar thermal hyperalgesia model. In the 4T1 metastatic model, STX140 and paclitaxel significantly inhibited primary tumor growth and lung metastases. All C3(1)/SV40 T-Ag mice in the control and paclitaxel treated groups developed palpable mammary cancer. STX140 blocked 47% of tumors developing and significantly inhibited growth of tumors that did develop. STX140 treatment caused a significant (P>0.001) survival advantage for animals in early and late intervention groups. Conversely, in C3(1)/SV40 T-Ag mice, paclitaxel failed to inhibit tumor growth and did not increase survival time. Furthermore, paclitaxel, but not STX140, induced significant peripheral neuropathy and neutropenia. These results show that STX140 has a greater anti-cancer efficacy, TIX, and reduced neurotoxicity compared to paclitaxel in C3(1)/SV40 T-Ag mice and therefore may be of significant benefit to patients with breast cancer. © 2013 Meyer-Losic et al.


Dong J.Z.,Biomeasure | Shen Y.,Biomeasure | Zhang J.,Biomeasure | Tsomaia N.,Biomeasure | And 2 more authors.
Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism | Year: 2011

Aim: Glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonists for the treatment of type 2 diabetes are administered by daily injection because of short plasma half-lives, which result partly from the biochemical instability of these peptides. There is a medical need for GLP-1 analogues that can be administered less frequently for patient convenience. Methods: We synthesized a series of human GLP-1 (hGLP-1(7-36)NH2) derivatives containing α-aminoisobutyric acid (Aib) substitutions, analysed their enzymatic stabilities and evaluated their secondary structures using circular dichroism (CD) and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR). Results: Plasma stability experiments showed that only the analogue containing Aib substitutions in both the N-terminus (position 8) and the C-terminus (position 35), [Aib8,35]hGLP-1(7-36)NH2 (BIM-51077), was fully resistant to enzymatic cleavage. Incubation with human plasma kallikrein or plasmin confirmed that the Aib substitution at position 35 prevented protease cleavage around this residue, which contributes to the significantly enhanced plasma stability and increased plasma half-life. CD revealed increased C-terminal α-helicity in Aib35-substituted analogues compared with both hGLP-1(7-36)NH2 and analogues containing only Aib8 substitutions. Based on NMR studies, the secondary structure of BIM-51077 is similar to hGLP-1(7-36)NH2 with a slight increase in α-helicity in the C-terminus. Compared with hGLP-1(7-36)NH2, BIM-51077 had similar binding affinity for the human GLP-1 receptor and activated this receptor with similar potency. Conclusions: We have discovered an Aib8,35-substituted analogue of native hGLP-1(7-36)NH2 (BIM-51077) that retains the structure of the native peptide, and has similar activity and enhanced stability. A sustained-release formulation of this molecule (taspoglutide) is in phase-3 clinical development. © 2010 IPSEN/Biomeasure, Inc..


Castaneda T.R.,Center for Diabetes and Endocrine Research | Tong J.,University of Cincinnati | Datta R.,Biomeasure | Culler M.,Biomeasure | Tschop M.H.,University of Cincinnati
Frontiers in Neuroendocrinology | Year: 2010

Ghrelin, a peptide hormone predominantly produced by the stomach, was isolated as the endogenous ligand for the growth hormone secretagogue receptor. Ghrelin is a potent stimulator of growth hormone (GH) secretion and is the only circulatory hormone known to potently enhance feeding and weight gain and to regulate energy homeostasis following central and systemic administration. Therapeutic intervention with ghrelin in catabolic situations may induce a combination of enhanced food intake, increased gastric emptying and nutrient storage, coupled with an increase in GH thereby linking nutrient partitioning with growth and repair processes. These qualities have fostered the idea that ghrelin-based compounds may have therapeutic utility in treating malnutrition and wasting induced by various sub-acute and chronic disorders. Conversely, compounds that inhibit ghrelin action may be useful for the prevention or treatment of metabolic syndrome components such as obesity, impaired lipid metabolism or insulin resistance. In recent years, the effects of ghrelin on glucose homeostasis, memory function and gastrointestinal motility have attracted considerable amount of attention and revealed novel therapeutic targets in treating a wide range of pathologic conditions. Furthermore, discovery of ghrelin O-Acyltransferase has also opened new research opportunities that could lead to major understanding of ghrelin physiology. This review summarizes the current knowledge on ghrelin synthesis, secretion, mechanism of action and biological functions with an additional focus on potential for ghrelin-based pharmacotherapies. © 2009 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


Loffredo F.S.,Brigham and Women's Hospital | Pancoast J.R.,Brigham and Women's Hospital | Cai L.,Brigham and Women's Hospital | Vannelli T.,Biomeasure | And 3 more authors.
Arthritis and Rheumatology | Year: 2014

Objective Acute articular injuries lead to an increased risk of progressive joint damage and osteoarthritis (OA), and no therapies are currently available to repair or protect the injured joint tissue. Intraarticular delivery of therapeutic proteins has been limited by their rapid clearance from the joint space and lack of retention within cartilage. The aim of this study was to test whether targeted delivery to cartilage by fusion with a heparin-binding domain would be sufficient to prolong the in vivo function of the insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1). Methods We produced a humanized and optimized recombinant HB-IGF-1 fusion protein. By injecting HB-IGF-1, IGF-1, or saline alone into the knee joints of adult Lewis rats, we tested whether fusion with a heparin-binding domain 1) altered the kinetics of retention in joint tissues, 2) prolonged functional stimulation as measured by radiolabel incorporation, and 3) enhanced efficacy in a rat model of surgically induced OA, using weekly injections. Results Fusion of heparin-binding domain with IGF-1 prolonged retention in articular and meniscal cartilage from <1 day to 8 days after injection. Unmodified IGF-1 had no functional effect 2 days after injection, whereas HB-IGF-1 stimulated meniscal cartilage at least 4 days after injection. HB-IGF-1, but not IGF-1, significantly slowed cartilage damage in a rat model of OA. Conclusion Heparin-binding domain fusions can transform rapidly cleared proteins into potential intraarticular therapies by targeting them to cartilage. Copyright © 2014 by the American College of Rheumatology.


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